Friday, October 29, 2010

Childhood Favorites: Umpqua Ice Cream

Umpqua Ice Cream

A new store came to Salt Lake City recently.  Some were excited at the promise of co-op low prices.  I, on the other hand, left my cheapness at the side.  Nostalgia was what had me on this one.  Dreams of Tillamook cheese and Umpqua ice cream was where my mind had floated off to.  I'm sure you've heard of Tillamook cheese.  If you haven't, I feel for you.  You have missed out on life.  But I don't expect you to have heard of Umpqua Dairy.

Umpqua Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I've mentioned before that I used to have a habit of eating entire cartons of ice cream (the 1.75 qt size) in one sitting.  I can't really explain that ability except that maybe if you tried this ice cream you'd do the same.  That, and I firmly believe ice cream has a special ability to melt and find any open space that normal non-melty food couldn't.

My two drugs of choice were Umpqua's Peanut Butter Chocolate and their Ol' South Fudge Pie.  I ventured to this new store to see if in fact, I was still addicted.

Deliciously salty chocolate peanut butter ice cream

Verdict?  Yeah, I think I pretty much still am.  The ice cream was delicious as remembered.  Creamy and smooth intermingled with smooth salty ribbons of peanut butter and medium hard pieces of peanut butter chips.  Why is this so freaking delicious?  Personally, I'm a sucker for just about anything containing a combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  At the Serious Eats office, we were pretty much always in agreement that if you added salt to something sweet it was a winner.

If you're not fond of the harder bits, allow the ice cream to soften for a bit before serving.  I found if you let it roll around in your mouth for a an extra moment, the ribbons of peanut butter would melt in your mouth.

This carton was gone in less than a week.  Consumed pretty much by me.  The husband never had a chance.

Check out some of Umpqua's other addicting flavors here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And the Winner is....


Thanks for commenting/reading y'all!

Sharon, try not to burn yourself anymore.  But if you do, at least you'll be numbed : )

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hot Diggity Delicious Dog

One day at Serious Eats, we got into a discussion about the food in Utah.  The conversation went something like this.  "And then we'll check out Finn's..."  I interrupt, "Don't bother, they're not that great.  Better ambiance than food.  What you should check out is J Dawgs."  The conversation continued into other arenas - such as the Utah Scone.  Did you know, apparently, that people have heard of the Utah Scone and Sconecutters?  Shudder.  Now, that would be embarrassing.  To have a Serious Eater fly all the way across the country to eat at Sconecutter's? Yikes.

J Dawgs Original Hot Dog Stand

What I'm really trying to say though, is that Utah has their own set of delicious things and a growing food scene.   And one of my favorites of those is J Dawgs.  Jayson Edwards, of J Dawgs fame, came up with the idea after coming home from serving an LDS mission in Toronto.  Hot dog carts were abundant in Toronto and when he returned to Utah, the lack thereof planted the idea of what was to be J Dawgs. 

So, why is J Dawgs so special?  The real winner for me is Jayson's "special sauce," a recipe that was passed down from his grandmother.  Jayson has made a few tweaks of his own, but the sweet barbecue sauce hits the salty dog just perfectly.  It's not terribly thick or gooey but more so an ambrosia glaze that trickles down the cross cuts in the dog.  Which leads me to the dog.  While J Dawgs doesn't create their own dog, they do reinvent the 100% all beef or Polish dogs on the grill.  The difference from a regular dog comes from the cross cutting which allows a bite burst with a little char on the side.  It's wonderfully delicious.  And to catch all that tongue pleasing juice?  Homemade buns from Provo Bakery made fresh every day just for J Dawgs.  They are pillowy, supple, and create the perfect cradle for the perfect innards of a hot dog.

J Dawgs Delicious Secret Sauce Hot Dog

If you want to get crazy, you can add banana peppers, onions, and sauerkraut.  I like to keep it simple.  Which, honestly, don't you want to keep it simple when the key ingredients are that good? 

J Dawg's is a steal at four bucks for a meal.  They have recently expanded from their cute roadside stand (which still operates) to the building aside.  Decor is retro inspired with silver tin lining the tables, barstools, and chairs.  A soda fountain offers supreme choices including beloved apple beer.  It would be interesting to see the level of caffeinated soda sold since this is one of the closest locations to offer caffeinated libations (BYU is a caffeine free campus.  Students have to brown bag it.) 

J Dawg's is like Christmas morning.  Excitement with a side of giddy when it arrives.  Only, your gifts are wrapped in tinfoil and the present inside is supremely biteable and tummy pleasing.  Merry Christmas.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Crave It Giveaway! Burn Cream MD (for your owies)

To Win:  Leave a comment about how you've burned yourself.  And follow me while you're at it.  

After having been in some professional kitchens, it is easy to see why you would keep Burn Cream MD around.  Leaning once on a hot burner taught me to be a bit more careful.  And left a funny ring shaped burn on my palm.  Roasting marshmallows and then plunging my fingers into the sticky, hot mess.  Also, very, very painful.  I pretty much burn myself regularly. 

Let's be honest, freebies rock. Even more so when it's free stuff worth over a buck. (although, honestly, I could get excited about a free chicken burrito from Taco Bell).  In this case it's more in the realm of $29.99.  And Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali both keep it in their kitchens!  Burn Cream MD was developed for use in the kitchen or wherever you might burn yourself.  It has lidocaine to take the sting away.  I could have used this a few times in my past.  Like when the flaming marshmallows would not shake off of my fingers no matter what I did.

Courtesy of Healing Skin, I am giving away your choice of Burn Cream MD in lotion form or handy wipe form.   The New York small world thing?  This awesome cream was developed by my old boss, Dr. Diane Madfes, spokesperson for Garnier Nutritioniste and dermatologist extraordinaire.


So, friends, if you would like to win this celebrity endorsed, dermatologist created burn cream, please leave a comment about a kitchen burn (or whatever you want to comment on - let's be honest - we're free flowing here) and become a follower of the blog.  Entries will close at 5:00 pm MST next Monday.  I'll announce the winner soon after.  After all, we all need something to ease the burn of "a case of the Mondays." 

Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Twenty Restaurants, Twelve Hours

Oh Twitter, I've grown to love you.  I judged you once, as many do, to be superficial and spacey.  I was wrong.  Well, mostly.  You satisfy the ADD in me better than just about anything out there...what?  Oh, well, almost.  Sometimes, you're still kinda slow.  But you also bring me wonderful news.  A week and a half ago a saw a little something on Twitter that made my heart happy.  Carey Jones, of Serious Eats fame, had let the possibility of a stop in Salt Lake City slip.

I was delighted.

Emails were exchanged, flights confirmed, and a restaurant list compiled.   And the day arrived.  Stretchy pants were worn.  My heart and stomach squealed with excitement and terror with each new edible encounter.  It was a fantastic day.  I was elated that I got to hang out with Carey for the day and assist in Serious Eats' success.  They are the best work family a girl/guy could ask for.  I'm providing the list of eateries we frequented that day.  Descriptions for each would result in an online novel so I'll spare you for now.  I will do you the honor of marking my top five* of the day.

Bon Apetit!

(Disclaimer: We ate at places that fit the chapters going into the Serious Eats book.  So don't be saddened that some of Salt Laker's favorite places are left out.  Also, we only had one day and we each only one one stomach.  A few bites or more at each place times 20 - you do the math.  10,000 calories?)
  1. Banbury Cross
  2. Les Madeleines*
  3. The Park Cafe
  4. Finn's
  5. Eggs in the City
  6. Tulie Bakery*
  7. Tony Caputo's Market & Deli
  8. Bruges Waffles & Frites*
  9. Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
  10. Capo Gelateria
  11. Chow Truck
  12. Dolcetti Gelato*
  13. The Back Door Deli
  14. Cows
  15. Maxwell's East Coast Eatery
  16. Cafe Rio
  17. The Cotton Bottom Inn
  18. Busy Bee
  19. The Copper Onion*
  20. Nielsen's Custard

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shiny New Product Review: New Oreo Fudge Cremes

Curse you impulse buying!  I've done it yet again.  Well, truth be told, this was my husband, yet again.  He's a sucker for Oreos.

I fortunately am not as obsessive as I once was with my sweets eating.  I used to go through a full 1/2 gallon carton of ice cream in one sitting.  On a regular basis.  But age has seemingly toned down my sweet tooth.  However, I was willing to revisit my old haunting grounds in order to try a "new" product.

They weren't quite as expected.

Don't ask me why.  I apparently just don't pay attention.  But why am I paying more per box and per Oreo for half of an Oreo?

Here's your after bite shot:

They are horrible.  The chocolate is waxy, even by American standards.  And regardless of whether you are an Oreo creme lover or cookie lover of the Oreo you will be disappointed.  The box has sat around our house uneaten for the last two weeks.  I finally threw it away.  And in my house where we are cheap and engage in mindless eating - that is saying something.  So save yourself a couple bucks and buy something quality - like a lovely Cup o'Noodles.